|J. D. Heyes
March 13, 2013
We’ve seen it in the movies and perhaps even witnessed it in person, but most of us never realized it was an offense punishable with lots of prison time.
When Anthony Brasfield released a dozen heart-shaped balloons into the sky over Dania Beach, Fla., for his his sweetheart, all he wanted was to create the perfect atmosphere of romance. What he created instead was a court date.
According to the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, Brasfield’s act of love was witnessed by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper. What he saw was not an act of love but a felony.
Massive jail time for – balloons?
The 40-year-old Brasfield was with his girlfriend, Shaquina Baxter, in the parking lot of a Motel 6 on Dania Beach Boulevard when he released the 12 shiny, red and silver mylar balloons into the sky and watched them float away in the Sunday morning breeze.
But the trooper saw nothing more than probable cause for a crime against the environment. Apparently, lawmakers in the Sunshine State think it’s appropriate to treat what should have been, at most, simple littering (to which courts would have issued a fine, maybe?), into a major crime against Mother Nature. As if Florida jails weren’t full enough.
The trooper arrested Brasfield and charged him with polluting to harm humans, animals, plants and everything else living under the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act.